Curatorial Assistant

Company Name: 

Frye Art Museum


704 Terry Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

Contact Name: 

Lanie Bolieu




Job Description: 

Curatorial Assistant

THE ORGANIZATION: The Frye Art Museum is a living legacy of visionary patronage and civic responsibility, committed to artistic inquiry and a rich visitor experience. A catalyst for our engagement with contemporary art and artists is the Founding Collection of Charles and Emma Frye, access to which shall always be free. Reflecting Seattle's evolving identity through exhibitions, programs, and community engagement, the Frye showcases local and global artists who are exploring the issues of our time as well as contemporary scholarship on historical subject matter. By taking calculated risks, we uncover new voices, facilitate conversation, and provide a forum for relevant social dialogues.

DEPARTMENT: Curatorial

REPORTS TO: Chief Curator


STATUS: Full-time

BENEFITS: Medical, dental, 403(b), paid vacation and sick time

COMPENSATION: $42,000-$45,000 DOE

THE POSITION: Curatorial Assistant

POSITION SUMMARY: The Curatorial Assistant supports the department in the realization of an ambitious program of exhibitions, collections-related research, and daily departmental operations. The position works closely with the Chief Curator and Associate Curator, assisting with all facets of exhibition planning, implementation, and interpretation; conducting collection and new acquisitions research; and managing essential documents, calendars, and correspondence. The successful candidate will be highly organized, detail-oriented, and self-motivated; have exceptional research, writing, and interpersonal skills; and be committed to contributing to the artistic excellence of the institution.


  • Exhibition planning, production, and interpretation
    • Corresponding with artists, gallery representatives, and lenders
    • Making artist and curator travel arrangements; overseeing visitor itineraries, per diem payments, reimbursements, and hospitality
    • Maintaining exhibition checklists, lender contacts, and reception invite lists
    • Gathering/writing information pertinent to project proposals, grant applications, and assessments
    • Drafting loan request letters and wall and web texts as requested
    • Facilitating in-gallery performances and other special programmatic initiatives
    • Opportunity to propose and create online content such as blog posts
  • Acquisitions and collections
    • Conducting research on historical and contemporary art and artists (primarily 19th century to the present)
    • Using the Embark collection database to access information and generate groups/lists; drafting artist bios and artwork descriptions to enhance public-facing collection entries
    • Drafting acquisition proposals as requested
    • Working with Collections staff to respond to donation offers and other collection inquiries as needed
    • Working with Development staff to facilitate Contemporary Council meetings/outings and other donor cultivation events
  • Curatorial department operations
    • Tracking, coding, and reporting expenditures against the departmental budget
    • Preparing presentations and reports as requested
    • Maintaining curatorial mailing list and overseeing occasional mass mailings
    • Maintaining subscriptions and departmental calendar of regional art events
    • Monitoring the curatorial alias email account and representing the department via telephone and email in a professional, courteous, and efficient manner
    • Other duties as assigned


  • Knowledge of late 19th and early 20th century Western art as well as modern and contemporary arts and culture;
  • Commitment to principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion;
  • Excellent organizational skills, including ability to work independently and proactively with accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Strong writing, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills;
  • Professional demeanor and ability to work well with internal colleagues and external stakeholders including artists, gallery representatives, donors, colleagues in the museum field, and the general public;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, in particular Teams, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.


  • B.A. in Art History, Curatorial Studies, or Arts Administration; M.A. preferred
  • 1-2 years experience in an office environment, preferably with a non-profit arts organization


Temporary telework arrangements may be in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, although staff are required to be on site each week and work with their manager or supervisor regarding scheduling. Some of the work may be performed off-site such as in the home or in a space near the home. Equipment may be owned and maintained by the employee or the Museum. Communications may be by email, mobile phone, internet video, electronic messaging, or other means as technology allows.


  • Sitting/Standing/Walking: Approximately 90% of time is spent seated while working at a desk. Balance of time (approximately 10%) is spent standing or moving around the work area. Speaking/Hearing: Clear diction and acute hearing are necessary for effective communication with external contacts, the public, and co-workers.
  • Lifting/Carrying/Pushing/Pulling: The ability to lift and carry up to 20 pounds is necessary for moving material and equipment for programs.
  • Vision: Corrected vision close to 20/20 is necessary to effectively use the computer screens.
  • Stooping/Kneeling: The ability to stoop and kneel is necessary for accessing files.
  • Reaching/Handling: Good manual dexterity is necessary for computer keyboard use and for retrieving and working with appropriate paperwork, equipment, and supplies.

This Job Summary is a summary of the primary duties and responsibilities of this role at the Frye Art Museum. Employees must maintain a high degree of flexibility in our rapidly changing environment and, as such, may be required to perform additional duties beyond the scope described here from time to time.

COVID-19 Considerations

The Frye Art Museum mandates that all employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and that masks must be worn on site.

Our Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

We, at Frye Art Museum, believe that the arts are for everyone. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for colleagues and guests.

Frye Art Museum complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive otherbenefits and privileges of employment, please contact


Candidates should send cover letter and resume with "Curatorial Assistant" in the subject line to Open until filled. No phone calls, please.

The Frye is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, marital or veteran’s status, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law.

Due to the high volume of applications received, we are only able to contact those candidates whose skills and background best fit the needs of the open positions. In the event that we wish to arrange a personal interview, we will contact you by email or phone.